Cherry CheesecakeThe same cherries that top a cheesecake can also top pork chops or create a barbeque sauce. Photo by Liv Friis-Larsen | IST.




Dessert Sauces
& Toppings

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KAREN HOCHMAN is Editorial Director of THE NIBBLE.

June 2007

Product Reviews / Main Nibbles / Dessert Sauces &Toppings

RiverHouse Dessert Sauce

Low Calorie Dessert Sauces, Low-Sugar & Sugar-Free


CAPSULE REPORT: RiverHouse Creations makes low-sugar and sugar-free (no sugar added) dessert sauces from the pears and cherries of the Pacific Northwest, plus other classic sauces. The top-quality fruits have natural sweetness, so extra sugar isn’t necessary. The low-calorie sauces can be used on cake, cheesecake, fruit, ice cream and other desserts, as well as pancakes, pork, poultry and seafood, in barbecue sauces and a variety of other recipes.

Fruit sauces are versatile products that can elevate a basic dish to something special—and they do so just by opening the jar, when one finds a sauce that’s full of good fruit and a modicum of sugar. Unlike many dessert sauces that are sticky-sweet, with these sauces, you can make a gourmet dessert by spooning them onto something basic, or have the makings of a delicious entrée sauce recipe simply by mixing the contents of the jar with some onion, garlic and herbs. Plain cheesecake or pound cake becomes a deluxe cheesecake dessert, and you don’t have to go scrambling for impressive dessert recipes on top of everything else you’re cooking. Plain chicken becomes Chicken With Cherry Sauce.

The line is 100% natural: no artificial flavors, colors or preservatives. All warm easily in the microwave.


RiverHouse Creations currently makes five sauces—three with sugar, two with no sugar added. The sugar varieties have a modest amount of sugar. As with all good artisan food, you taste the fruit, not the sweetener. Comparing the two cherry products, Triple Cherry Amaretto Sauce, with sugar, has 30 calories per two tablespoons, and 6g sugar; Tart Cherry Sauce, with no sugar added, has 15 calories and 1g sugar.

  • Banana Rum Caramel. The sweetest of the lot, this popular dessert sauce combination—bananas, caramel, and rum with a touch of cinnamon—can be served with sautéed fresh bananas for a mock Bananas Foster. It’s also wonderful on brownies, ice cream and pound cake. We admit to dipping gourmet marshmallows into it as well—a fun adult diversion with after-dinner coffee.
  • Suzette Grand Marnier Sauce. This citrus sauce, sparkling with the flavors of orange, lemon and Grand Marnier, can be a dessert sauce or dress savory foods as a glaze for pork, poultry or seafood. Add it to the pan with onion or garlic and herbs. Check the recipes on their website for ideas; then do your own improvisations.

Grilled Chicken

Suzette Marnier Sauce is a multitasker for desserts (ice cream, pound cake, crepes Suzette) and makes a delicious sauce for grilled or sauteed chicken.

  • Triple Cherry Amaretto Sauce. Whole red cherries (the tart Montmorency variety*) accented with Amaretto, floating in a light, tasty sauce. The most popular flavor, since everyone likes to see a cascade of bright, red cherries on ice cream, cheese cake, a chicken breast or a pork chop. They look (and taste) great on waffles and omelets too! If you need to keep one jar in the pantry to to make a last-minute impressive dish—no matter what the course—this is probably it.

*All cherries are divided into “tart” and “sweet” varieties. The Montmorency variety is not “tart” in the sour sense, as much as it has more complexity of flavor than “sweet” varieties like the Bing.

No Sugar Added Dessert Sauces

These sauces are a blessing for people who want a healthy dessert sauce or who like fruit sauce but not sweet stuff. It’s also a nice product to have on hand for guests who can’t have sugar: You can still offer them something special that works as a bread spread or a food topping.

There’s no sugar added to either of these sauces, so the pure flavor of the fruit shines through. The flavor will appeal to many as is; but, the sauces can be sweetened to taste with sugar or calorie-free sweetener (i.e., if one member of the family or a guest can’t have sugar). While no sugar is added to the recipes, there is sugar from the fruit itself.

  • Tart Cherry. Plump, whole tart cherries rest in a slightly-thickened, fresh tasting cherry sauce. As with the Triple Cherry Amaretto, the sauce is very light and flowing—no “red glop.” Use it as you would use Triple Cherry Amaretto. There are 15 calories per two-tablespoon serving, 1g sugar.
  • Pear Sauce With Lavender. Ripe, juicy Northwest Bartlett pears are cooked into in a smooth sauce, lightly accented with lavender. There are 25 calories per two-tablespoon serving, 4g sugar.

Serving Suggestions & Recipes

Each bottle contains recipes and serving suggestions. There are recipes on the website, and your own creativity will guide you to many uses.  Here are some of the obvious:

  • At breakfast: Top pancakes, French toast, waffles, plain yogurt, sweet omelets and breakfast crepes; garnish fruit salad, hot or cold cereals.
  • In sauces for entrées: Transform into barbecue sauce, orange sauce for fish, citrus, cherry and orange sauces and glazes for for poultry.
  • For dessert: Use in the logical way—as dessert sauces for bread pudding, cake (cheesecake, pound cake and other cakes), custard, ice cream, sorbet and for dessert crepes.

Quick Dessert Recipe Ideas

  • Top ladyfingers with your favorite flavor plus whipped cream and shaved chocolate.
  • Fill tart shells or puff pastry with crème anglaise and top with sauce.
  • Fill tart shells with sauce and top with crème fraîche or whipped cream.
  • Cherry: on lady fingers or pound cake with whipped cream and shaved chocolate; in parfaits.

Two tablespoons for 25 calories doesn’t break the bank—nor does four tablespoons. We always like finding a quality product with no sugar added siblings. Enjoy a fresh-tasting foray into fruit sauce.


Banana Caramel Rum, Suz
ette Sauce, Triple Cherry Amaretto

  • 9-Ounce Jar

Flavor With Sugar are available
at Divino’s Specialty Foods,

Sugar-Free Flavors are available

RiverHouse Creations
For more information about RiverHouse Creations, visit

Prices and flavor availability are verified at publication but are subject to change. Shipping is additional.